Las Vegas Sun

April 26, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

The problem with background checks

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Politicians act as if requiring background checks would solve America’s problems, but they are already required. I’ve had four background checks. Two years ago, I attended expensive classes, visited “legal” gun shops, paid more than $600 for my gun, filled out extensive paperwork, provided required identification and had a background check run on me.

Next, I attended an expensive, eight-hour class to qualify for a concealed weapons permit and paid to use a local range to practice. After I passed my proficiency test, I made an appointment at the local police department. They ran a second background check on me.

Then, due to an error by the police department in California where I applied, I had to go to the sheriff’s department, reapply and go through a third background check — plus pay more money.

I just moved to Las Vegas, and I went straight to Metro Police and registered my gun, as required. I completed an expensive 12-hour class to qualify in Nevada and Utah. I went back to Metro and filed my application and had my fourth background check. Now I must wait up to four months for my permit to carry.

I will soon be legally allowed to carry again, but I must be cautious.

Nevada has no law to protect the law-abiding citizen. If I shoot a criminal breaking into my home, I may be arrested and possibly sued by his family. Criminals do it cheap and easy. Good citizens jump through many hoops.

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  1. People who know me know that I am a staunch pro-gun advocate.

    That said, I think the author of this letter is complaining too much. Although there may be room for debate on registration, circumstances today dictate the need for effective background checks.

    Beyond that, the fact that the author has taken the required steps gives me hope that she(?) will take the extra steps needed to ensure that any weapon(s) she owns can not be accessed by unauthorized or inappropriate people when not under her direct supervision.

    It is that extra step that is the true hallmark of a responsible gun owner. How many tragic events could have been prevented if gun owners had simply thought about what could happen if the wrong person got hold of their weapon? More specifically, what the @$@% was Lanza's mother thinking by not keeping her weapons properly secured when she was not present?!?

    I wish that basic gun safety was once again a common topic for discussion. I think a comprehensive PSA campaign aimed at both adults and children teaching respect for and proper handling of weapons would go a long way towards addressing the source of a great many tragedies involving the use of guns. (For example, how many people know the proper way to carry a rifle or shotgun?)

    I understand and sympathize with the author's frustration. But I would rather the author complain about the lack of knowledge among non-gun owners than about the requirements for just the owners.

  2. The writer doesn't say why carrying a concealed weapon is so important to him. But it is apparently importamt enough for him to go through quite a bit of expense and multiple background checks in multiple states. But if ne's standing in line behind me at checkout at WalMart and carrying, I'd prefer too much background check to too little.

  3. Take a look at the loopholes to this:

  4. Just wondering? What other Constitutional Right is treated the way the Right to own firearms is? Can you imagine the furor if anyone had to go through the steps needed to buy a gun in order to vote? Leftists object to a no-brainer such as having to identify oneself with a photo ID when appearing to vote. How about requiring a spelling test for those who want to contribute to the LV Sun's forum or other Freedom of Speech activities? Makes about as much sense as the steps Toni had to go through in order to exercise a Constitutional Right. The Constitution clearly states that gun ownership is a Right - not a "priviledge." The restrictions on owning a weapon for self-defense or sport are blatantly unconstitutional on their face but too many are willing to give up their rights inch by inch and the left is eager to oblige them.

  5. lvfacts101 sez "The Constitution clearly states that gun ownership is a Right - not a "priviledge."(sic) (Good thing that spelling test isn't required Jerry :-) )

    So what about the Constitutional Rights of

    1. Persons under 18
    2. Fugitives from justice
    3. Unlawful users of certain drugs
    4. Those committed to a mental institution
    5. Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than one year (which generally covers felonies)
    6. Those convicted of crimes of domestic violence

    All are prohibited from obtaining a firearm.

    And what about laws that prohibit discharging a firearm in certain instances or directed at certain things. Are they unconstitutional?

    The writer's gripe is not about obtaining a firearm. It's about carrying it concealed.

  6. @SGT..Are you suggesting illegal aliens are legally allowed to carry in Nevada? FYI they are not.

    The letter writer can choose to ignore the laws if he chooses. He doesn't need to sneak across the border to do so.

    While I'm sure hillbilly mouth breathers make better bigots, the last election showed many of my fellow conservatives are both ignorant and educated.

  7. I applaud Ms Pacini for being a good citizen and "jumping through hoops" in order to carry a concealed weapon. As a citizen of Las Vegas, it is very comforting to know that Ms. Pacini has been properly trained in gun safety, is proficient in firing her weapon, and has been properly vetted to carry a weapon. I just wish that I could be just as comfortable with knowing that every other gun owner in Las Vegas has done the same. Even law-abiding gun owners can be a threat if they are not properly trained, just as a person driving a car can be a threat if not properly trained.

  8. The letter writer is just another whiner. Most people take an eight hour class, get their fingerprints taken and they get their permit in a few months. I think the Gun Store offers classes for free. If it's a renewal the class is four hours. Big deal!
    What he went through is the exception and definitely not the rule.

  9. Something I forgot to mention is that the permit is good for five years which is fantastic. For me to maintain my law enforcement CCW I would have to drive back to Santa Monica and qualify every single year. The process here is fantastic. A background check, a few hours of classroom training, some shooting and you get your permit.

  10. Isn't it disturbing how easily people will give up privacy for security. Gun nerds seem to ignore the rest of the bill of rights. I'd rather risk being murdered than having my privacy invaded or being locked up for no reason but I'm an American. The clear thing to do is an assault weapons ban and magazine size limitation rather than go the way of the nationalist socialist german workers party.

  11. PISCES41 (Jim Weber: At 7:53 a.m. you listed 6 categories of people and asked about their right to own/carry arms.

    You missed one. What about MY right to walk down the strip carrying a loaded RPG launcher? After all that, too, is an "arm."

  12. renorobert posts a ridiculous comment which highlights his/her ignorance. Had he/she read & understood the National Firearms Act of 1934 and 1968 he/she would know that an RPG along with many other classifications of weapons are prohibited from ownership by the general public. He/she would also know that an RPG is not a firearm as defined but a weapon of mass destruction of which all are prohibited from ownership by the general public.

    Sarcasm is only effective if it is germane and based in fact, neither of which is true in this case. Maybe this person would be served better by something other than an uninformed Babinski reflex.

  13. "You missed one. What about MY right to walk down the strip carrying a loaded RPG launcher? After all that, too, is an "arm." Robert Leavitt

    I wouldn't try it anytime soon. Justice Antonin Scalia has written and said on numerous occasions that a learned and reasonable interpretation of the Second Amendment would most definitely exclude rocket propelled granade launchers.


  14. Brass/Carmine. I am HIGHLY confused!! I've considered you to be primarily opposed to Federal regulation of the population to bear arms! An RPG launcher is most definitely an "arm" by any sense of the word. It is man-portable just like any infantry weapon; it's not at all in the league of an M1A1 Abrams, for example.

    Carmine: No sarcasm intended. I hope that if/when I use sarcasm you will not be in any doubt!

    Brass - you don't oppose the 1934 and 1964 laws, but apparently oppose modern efforts to license or register firearms, or to restrict magazine sizes. For your info I am well aware that an RPG launcher is NOT a firearm. I am also well aware that the 2nd Amendment refers not to a right to keep and bear "firearms", but to the much broader right to keep and bear "arms." Feel free to check the definition of "arms." You might try this link: which states "4) The U.S. Constitution does not adequately define "arms". When it was adopted, "arms" included muzzle-loaded muskets and pistols, swords, knives, bows with arrows, and spears. However, a common- law definition would be "light infantry weapons which can be carried and used, together with ammunition, by a single militiaman, functionally equivalent to those commonly used by infantrymen in land warfare. That certainly includes modern rifles and handguns, full-auto machine guns and shotguns, grenade and grenade launchers, flares, smoke, tear gas, incendiary rounds, and anti-tank weapons, but not heavy artillery, rockets, or bombs, or lethal chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Somewhere in between we need to draw the line."
    (Note: by definition an RPG launcher is a rocket-propelled GRENADE LAUNCHER, a modern upgrade of the popular rifle-mounted grenade launcher introduced in WWI or the more recent dedicated launchers such as the M79 or the Milkor MGL.)

    For both of you: Just where do you propose we draw that line referred to? And more to the point, specifically why THERE? Is it possible to be FOR a hypothetical right to keep and bear arms but AGAINST specific acts of actually utilizing that right?

  15. "Brass/Carmine. I am HIGHLY confused!! I've considered you to be primarily opposed to Federal regulation of the population to bear arms!" Robert Leavitt

    You are [confused]. I'm not sarcastic. I agree with Antonin Scalia on RPG's. No confusion at all on my and his part. Short. Simple. To the point.